Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21
  1. #1

    A note to the Writers' Guild(merged)

    I don't have time to write a whole essay, so I'll be very brief.

    Stop complaining. You already get paid too much for writing crap like "Cavemen". Go back to work. There are people with much harder jobs out there that don't get paid half as much as you. I don't feel like waiting another year to see a new episode of "Lost" or "The Office" or even "The Daily Show". So quit your whining and go back to your comfy jobs with your venti lattes so we can enjoy television again.
    [FONT=Arial Black]"I'M A LEAD FARMER, MOTHERF***ER!!!!!"[/FONT]
    [FONT=Impact]Awesome Traders: JON9000, darkagent[/FONT]

  2. #2
    I'm a little torn on this (as some of you already may know).

    On the one hand, I hate big companies and usually side with unions. I do think the demands of the WGA are more than reasonable, and should be granted. It is, contrary to popular belief, tough work to do what they do, and it's not really tough work to do what the network execs do (sit on their fat arses and make money off the creative talent).

    However, I'm not really in favor of this strike for two reasons.

    First is the little guy. They don't get paid nearly as much as writers, directors, and actors. A lot of them aren't unionized. They don't have job security if something goes wrong. They also don't get paid if production shuts down. While a guy who makes $10,000 at one time for co-writing an episode of (for instance) Lost can probably survive for a decent period off scripts that are already written (and likely has a spouse who's still working), the 99% of Hollywood employees who work behind the scenes are often struggling to make ends meet. The loss of one or two weeks of work can be disastrous to them.

    But the WGA says, "Most production assistants want to be writers. We're doing this for them, so they can get a better deal in the future." What good is an additional four cents per DVD sold or internet download a decade from now going to be if they're getting evicted next week because there's no work? (And how many janitors do you think are going to be writers two years from now? I'm guessing zero.)

    Even beyond the actual studio employees, there are so many others who depend on the Hollywood machine for their livelihood: caterers, local restaurants, rental facilities, etc. This could easily, if it continues for more than a week or so, devastate the LA (and possibly New York) economy. I heard one estimate that it could cost the overall LA economy in excess of one billion dollars if the strike continues as long as the last one (22 weeks, I believe). Think about that. One billion dollars.

    The other reason is a bit more complex. Yeah, right now "new media" is a total unknown, which is the studios' main argument. However, for the first time in recorded history, there is mass communication that is not monopolized by a few conglomerates. People actually have options. And, already, huge numbers of people have stopped watching TV altogether, or cut back significantly. Movie attendance is down, and, last I read, DVD rentals and purchases were, too.

    Imagine if that shuts down for a month or two, or more. Isn't there a very real chance that people could become even more disgruntled with the studios? Isn't there even a slim chance this could totally destroy the entire Hollywood system if it continues long enough? Sure, it's not a big likelihood, but it's something both sides should be cognizant of.

    This isn't a profession like teaching or food service, where it's an absolute necessity. Nor is it a field where the workers would be abused without representation, like coal miners or migrant farm workers. It's a luxury field, and they make rather good money to start with.

    And don't forget that the Directors' Guild and Screen Actors' Guild will be doing the same thing next summer. They'll expect what the writers get, and more. (In other words, they'll probably strike, too, and the little guy is going to be screwed over twice more.)

    Again, yes, they deserve what they're asking for. It's only fair, and the corporations (I don't think it would be too much to call them "evil" or "greedy") should grant their demands. I just think that, given the circumstances, it's a bit selfish of them to shut everything down, given the people they're hurting who make a fraction of what they do.

    I mean, they're writers, for God's sake! They knew this was coming. Why didn't they, oh, I don't know, write about it for months and try to sway public opinion? Wouldn't that be more effective? (Wait, these are the guys writing the TV shows that are on now. They don't have any good ideas.)
    Last edited by El Chuxter; 11-06-2007 at 11:24 AM.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  3. #3
    The writers believe they should be paid extra because their material ends up on other media besides TV. OK, fine. But then every steel worker should go on strike until they're compensated for every product their steel is used in.
    It's a blacked-out blur but I'm pretty sure it ruled.

  4. #4
    If production is dependent on the ingenuity of the few, particularly when the "few" are actually workers rather than capitalists, the few should get a lot of the cash. GO UNION!

    Oh, and I love how this completely turns the plot of "Atlas Shrugged" inside out. Eat that, Randian pigs!

    And for those who want to watch shows; read a book, go outdoors, learn a new skill. I'll miss it, but I will live.

    The strike could be the greatest thing to happen! (Or we could get more reality programming- yikes!)
    Peeps who have hooked me up: General Grievous Dark Marble jjreason Ramy GrandMoffLouie Josephe vader121 Val Da Car

  5. #5
    You seem to contradict yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by General_Grievous View Post
    You already get paid too much for writing crap like "Cavemen".
    ..but...

    Quote Originally Posted by General_Grievous View Post
    I don't feel like waiting another year to see a new episode of "Lost" or "The Office" or even "The Daily Show".
    You complain about crap that makes the airwaves yet you are annoyed that they are keeping you from watching stuff you love? Well what is it? Do you, or don't you want them to work?

    Obviously they provide a service that you and millions of other people have a lot of interest in. 8.3 MILLION people watched the last episode of "The Office". 8.3 MILLION! They only list 4 writers for their show (perhaps their are more uncredited) who are able to keep 8 Million folks tuning in each week. Starting salary for a full-time TV show writer is $70,000 but it would be safe to guess the writers on "The Office" are making at least twice that. Even that would be a pretty good deal given how much $$ their writing makes the studio. High viewership = High commercial time revenue.

    But even on the flipside writers for bad shows still deserve to be compensated at the going rate for a TV show writer. Writers aren't directly responsible for crap TV either. That burden is also carried by the directors, producers, studios and more importantly (IMHO) the actors.

    Quote Originally Posted by General_Grievous View Post
    Go back to work. There are people with much harder jobs out there that don't get paid half as much as you.
    What's a harder job? Longer hours? More of a commute? Outside in the weather? Stuck behind some desk? Travel required? Having to work late? Working Holiday and Weekends? Deadlines? Flipping burgers? Require 4 years of college? Require a Masters degree? Require a PhD.?

    The point is the argument of "harder jobs" is all relative and based on your own biases. Maybe you only see that these folks type words into a computer all day and try to make people laugh. I'm sure there is a lot more to it than that.

    Maybe digging a ditch is more difficult physically than a writer but ditch diggers aren't under the same scrutiny or time constraints. Plus, anyone can be a ditch digger. I could do their job after a few minutes of instruction. I can't do that for a TV show writer position.

    I'll go out on a limb GG and say you've never been apart of a unionized job. Unions are there to insure a relatively uniform quality of life (income for one example) for it's members in a particular field. Imagine if teachers were only paid by how "difficult" the average Joe thought their job was or how well 1 particular student did on his tests? Teachers at a small school should be paid relatively equal to someone in a big school since their job is the same. (disclaimer: that's a simplistic view of the goal since it doesn't take into account cost of living in different areas, etc.).
    "No one helped me so why should I help you?" - College professor circa 1999

    By choosing not to decide you still have made a choice.

    I'm in love with the women of Univision.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Exhaust Port View Post
    Imagine if teachers were only paid by how "difficult" the average Joe thought their job was or how well 1 particular student did on his tests?
    This is much easier to imagine if you live in Texas.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  7. #7
    Seems pretty simple: networks get $$ if a consumer buys their DVD's and/or legally downloads their material. The writers, SHOULD be getting some piece of that as, well, you know, the shows wouldn't exist without writers. Seems pretty straight forward.

    I'm sure if you did work and didn't get paid for it, you'd be pretty upset too, eh?
    "Woke up at 9.55am. Soon as I woke up, I looked at Suzanne and she looked at me. I said, 'Did I tell you about the immune system?' Suzanne starting laughing, I said, 'it's amazing.' She said, 'Not now.'"

  8. #8
    They do get paid for it. Pretty well, in most cases.

    Again, I agree with their demands, but the strike is going to hurt a lot of people who aren't writers, or in many cases even directly involved with Hollywood (the faceless, heartless entity that makes movies and shows, not the city). I'm not familiar with the inner workings of the WGA, but most unions have a fund (or at least low-interest loans) for members if a strike causes a hardship on them. Trouble is, most unions striking aren't going to hurt a lot of non-union people. This could cripple the economy of Southern California.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    Trouble is, most unions striking aren't going to hurt a lot of non-union people. This could cripple the economy of Southern California.
    This is mentioned a lot by companies when one of their employee groups threatens a strike. The company turns to the other employees and say "look how these greedy co-workers want to take away your income just so they can get a bigger piece of the pie." Management knows there is no greater influence than peer pressure from your fellow workers.

    The same could be said on the other side of the picket line too. If management would only have given us __________ we would have needed to do this.

    Unfortunately what other options does an employee group have? Management holds all the cards except one and that is actual work produced by their employees.
    "No one helped me so why should I help you?" - College professor circa 1999

    By choosing not to decide you still have made a choice.

    I'm in love with the women of Univision.

  10. #10
    A lot of what I'm reading here seems to be coming from the notion that ALL Writers are being paid exorbitant amounts of money. That same attitude seems to exist regarding most other careers within the movie industry too.

    While it may seem that way to the general public, the truth is that the vast majority of those within the industry categorically do NOT make that kind of money. Most are firmly within the middle class tax bracket and many make much less, particularly as they make the effort to become established within the industry at some level.

    Unlike most other professional career jobs, you don't go into an office, fill out an application and/or drop off your resume and wait for a call. The movie industry at nearly every level is more like a traveling circus, where aspiring performers (aka, Writers, Directors, Actors, Cameramen, Production Designers, Producers, etc.) don't start out at the top, but put in many many years making very little money working very long hours at the bottom. And the truth is that a very small percentage of people in the industry are earning those millions of dollars that seem so outrageous.

    Part of the reason for any contract negotiation is to improve working conditions and to ensure fair compensation for work completed. Another reason for contract negotiations is to establish precedents for future generations of workers. Those few Writers who are making millions a year don't really need an additional .04 cents per DVD or necessarily worry about a new-media deal. But there are plenty more of struggling Writers now and in the future to whom it will be important.

    The issues in any contract negotiations are complex and thought it may seem to be a very simple situation here (rich guys want more money), it isn't the case at all. It is certainly an understandable viewpoint coming from a general public who has no realistic possibility of making "millions of dollars a year," but the issues have less to do with the specific amount of money and more to do with fair working conditions and compensation for everyone.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO